“Remembering and Celebrating”

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The chosen theme set the tone for this community meeting held on June 11, 2022, before the the remaining Sisters, residing at the Congregational House, would be moving to Maison Jésus-Marie.

Sr. Simone Perras, in the role of guide, at the Centre Marie-Rose Museum.

“It seemed impossible to leave the place of our foundation without inviting the Sisters of Quebec and those affiliated with the SNJMs to participate in both our detachment and our gratitude,” explains Sister Simone Perras, initiator of this highly successful event. She recalled the steps taken by the pioneers of the Congregation who began their mission at the Foundation House, which became the Congregational House, after the renovation of the Longueuil Convent in the 1980s.

In an “open house” approach, the participants were able to freely visit the premises. Some had never returned there since the transformation of the building. Others lingered in the chapel built in Mother Marie-Rose’s time and in the places that were familiar to her: the Chapter Room, her bedroom and her office. Still others wanted to explore the Archives. 

For this occasion, the Sisters of the local community assumed the roles of hostess and guide, uncovering little-known facts as they shared precious memories. Some of the visitors, notably as teachers, had been to the Longueuil Convent.    

A big surprise awaited the visitors to the Foundation House: Sister Lisette Boulé, dressed as vintage Mother Marie-Rose, welcomed them. This presence elicited a few comments on the “pleasures” of wearing this habit, “especially the coif” during the summer months! But, as one person pointed out with a touch of nostalgia, “Our habit was quite beautiful!”   Several Francophone Associates and a large group of Anglophone Associates used this opportunity to take many pictures with “Mother Marie-Rose”!    

Sr. Lisette Boulé dressed as vintage Mother Marie-Rose

Treasuring Our Memories

A moving ritual took place in the chapel. “Today, just as Mary treasured all things in her heart, we want to recall, in our hearts, all that we have seen and experienced since the beginning of our SNJM history.”

A moment of recollection during which stories, poems, psalms and prayers of intercession highlighted Mother Marie-Rose’s journey of faith. Sister Denise Riel, provincial animator, then invited the assembly to a time of self-reflection: “Mother Marie-Rose saw God in all things,” said Bishop Bourget, “What message would she give us today as we are called to mourn the loss of our foundational house?”

A mutual sending on mission, followed by Mother Marie-Rose’s favorite song “Je Mets Ma Confiance” (I Place My Trust), concluded this celebration while, in a gesture of farewell, the participants come forward toward the altar, and looked prayerfully at the little cross in the floor where Mother Marie-Rose had loved to kneel and pray.